Liberals infrastructure program problems detailed in internal documents

OTTAWA — Newly released documents show a focus on small projects bogged down the first phase of the Liberal governments new infrastructure program.An internal analysis obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law, shows 32 departments handed out $14.4 billion in the first phase of the program.Almost one-third of the projects needed less than $100,000 in federal support but required the same detailed reviews as much bigger projects which delayed construction and the flow of federal cash.The government has been criticized for the slower-than-anticipated pace of infrastructure dollars leaving the federal treasury.The Liberals argue tracking federal spending can be misleading because funds only flow once receipts are filed, which causes a lag between when work occurs and money is paid out.A spokeswoman says Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is able to approve projects worth up to $50 million, putting the vast majority of projects under the minister’s authority and reducing timelines for approvals.The Canadian Press read more